Friday, 31 October 2014

LETS TALK TELECOM..HOW DIFFERENT WILL THE 4G BE AND DOES IT COMMAND A PREMIUM OVER 3G?

The industry has experienced a massive shift from traditional mobile services such as voice and SMS to value-added services such as CRBT, WAP, m-gaming, m-utilities and infotainment, along with data-intensive services such as browsing, social networking, apps and video streaming. Today, what a consumer desires is a seamless, always-on, high-speed data service.

While 3G adoption is still picking up three years after its launch, the focus has now shifted to 4G technologies, especially LTE (Long-Term Evolution). 



But how different will the 4G be and does it command a premium over 3G? Well, 4G is expected to deliver speeds of 10-15 Mbps, 10 times faster than those of 3G, enabling users to download more content than 3G in the same amount of time. This makes data-intensive, on-the-go downloads such as music or HD video streaming a reality. Further, 4G promises faster connection times, assuring an always-on service experience. It offers less round-trip latency, making real-time applications such as VoIP, video calls, online gaming and multimedia content sharing quite practical. While 4G promises an improved user experience, the key question is will 4G be a game-changer and when can operators expect to break-even? And these concerns are amplified due to the various challenges that exist right now.
  •      4G ecosystem: Currently there is a lack of affordable 4G-enabled phones in India. The availability of $100 handsets suitable for LTE band 2300 MHz in India—which can help users in voice, data and video—could result in faster adoption of the service.

  •        Quality of service: 3G coverage in India is much below the levels needed to provide superior customer experience associated with high speed data technology, as cash-strapped operators face an investment dilemma. Here, 4G is a possible panacea if it delivers seamless and high-speed connectivity.

  •        Pricing: In the recent past, competitive 3G tariffs have helped increase its adoption. A key question for operators is how to price 4G services to encourage demand for early adoption while ensuring returns on investment.

  •       Product/service offering: Consumer interests and demands are shifting towards video calling, mobile gaming, HD content streaming, multi-tasking and seamless data connectivity.


Additionally, the Quality of Service models and Key Performance Indicators are different in the case of 4G. Operators need to be well prepared for delivering seamless experience backed with robust technology and network coverage of 4G services. Due to shift of consumers towards data-centric applications, 4G operators need to focus not only on Quality of Service but also on Quality of Experience as perceived by the user.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

CLOUD COMPUTING -- WHERE DO YOU START?

Cloud computing is a disruptive phenomenon, with the potential to make IT organizations more responsive than ever. Cloud computing promises economic advantages, speed, agility, flexibility, infinite elasticity and innovation. How will you phase your organization into cloud computing?

Key Challenges to overcome in Cloud Computing:

Cloud computing forces you to wrestle with three key strategic, operational and people challenges:

  • Governance:
Cloud computing enables speed, agility and innovation. You need to move from the drawing board to deployment. Is your organization ready to adapt? You need a clear vision and effective processes, skills and organizational structure to drive cloud innovation in your enterprise. 

  • Cloud Computing Environments:
You need to choose a cloud computing environment that's right for your organization. Should you consider private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid cloud solution? More and more organizations are moving services, storage, email, collaboration and applications to the cloud. You need to decide whether to choose to support private, public or a hybrid cloud mix. What's the right mix of infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and application (SaaS) environments for your organization.

  • Security & Privacy:
If someone else is running your computers and software, you need strategies to stay secure. Your security policy depends on how many pieces you control – the more you own, the more you control. Are you ready to extend your enterprise security policy to the cloud? You need to break through the resistance and increase confidence that cloud is safe. You need to keep your data safe from prying eyes. You need your security team to buy in to your cloud initiatives. That's a tall order.





By 2015, at least 20% of all cloud services will be consumed via internal or external cloud service brokerages, rather than directly, up from less than 5% today. (source- Gartner)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Foster Growth and Enhance Consumer Experience by Re-aligning Marketing Strategies

As online market places and m-commerce grow in sophistication, they give opportunities to local retailers to boost local economy and gain attention of customers worldwide. Since small retailers lack the resources and skills to enter the global markets, such solutions plug the void and create a level playing field for the disadvantaged SMB segment. 

Another strong development for upsurge of mobile-based payments is the greater adoption of mPOS (mobile point-of-sale) solutions. As of April 2014, India has about 418 million credit/debit card holders as against a mere 1 million POS terminals. Modern mPOS solutions are convenient to use, ensuring the SMBs to convert their mobile into a POS device and drive transaction volumes by accepting cards anywhere, anytime. This would help the SMBs to increase sales, add value to customer experience and take small retailers community to a cashless route.

Adopt mobility solutions to foster growth and enhance consumer experience.

  • Data analytics: Analyses of data on the basis of consumer behaviour patterns plays a vital role for companies to understand the need of their consumer and thereby realigning their marketing strategies.

  • Cost optimisation: It is imperative to ensure maximum output with minimum investment. Small business need to optimally utilise their resources for enhanced productivity.

  • Personalised business applications: With the smartphone boom, mobile applications have become a standard business tool. SMB players need to focus on adopting specific applications which cater to their business needs and enhance operational excellence.

  • Expansion of online presence and enhanced reach: SMB players need to utilise services such as email, messaging, CRM, social media to ensure they reach out to their consumers and potential consumers.



In India, mobility drives the holistic strategy of e-commerce success stories like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Jabong. Snapdeal has witnessed a 25-fold growth in mobile based transactions and more than 50% of their sales come from mobile devices in the current year.

With technology expertise and industry knowledge, our mobility consultants will work with you to develop your organization’s mobile blueprint and implement across a diverse range of mobile platforms and devices. URS will work with companies throughout their mobility journey to enable them to maximize the potential of their mobile implementation. 

For more details log on to www.urssystems.com

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Mobility in everyday life has resulted in the world evolving towards a truly connected place.

Mobility provides new channels to businesses for active engagement with their existing customers as well as reaching out to potential customers. The opportunities are more profound for the small and medium scale business in India as SMBs employ nearly 40% of the population in India. With multiple pay-as-you-go business models dominating the landscape, technological innovation which could earlier be afforded only by bigger players is available to SMBs.

SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) in India face pressing challenges such as expansion of operations as well as retaining their existing consumer base. Lack of capital further affects their maneuverability and inhibits innovation. On the other hand, mobility in everyday life has resulted in the world evolving towards a truly connected place. Personal use of mobility is already visible with people, especially youth relying on mobile devices as their primary communication tool. According to reports, smart phone users in India will explode by nearly 300% to 382 million by 2018 with most of these users accessing internet through their phones.



Small and medium businesses (SMBs) play a pivotal role in a developing country like India. It has been estimated that India is home to 48.8 million SMBs and they contribute 17% to GDP of the country today. It is largely dominated by micro scale businesses, comprising 95% of the landscape, followed by small scale businesses comprising 4.8% and the rest 0.2% by medium scale businesses.

This transition creates challenges as well as new opportunities for business. Indian companies spent R3 billion ($49.9 million) on mobile ads last year, and the market is projected to expand 43% this year, according to the Mobile Marketing Association. 

SMBs need advanced technological solutions which optimally utilise their resources thereby increasing their productivity and efficiency. Such solutions will have a larger societal impact apart from the economic benefits they ensue. In fact, the impact of adopting mobility solutions is already evident. To illustrate, as per the 2014 AT&T-SBE Council Small Business Technology Poll, globally small businesses are drastically cutting costs and saving time with the help of mobility—to the tune of nearly 2 billion hours and $67.5 billion on average each year.

To conclude, the SMB industry has the potential to be the largest growth driver for the economy. The players need to move beyond traditional practices and adopt solutions which would give them the required impetus to script greater success stories in the coming years. URS Systems offers a portfolio of tools and services to develop mobility strategies so you can create a mobile enterprise that capitalizes on new business models, innovate products and services, and unlocks workforce productivity. 

Visit us @ www.urssystems.com to know more about our offerings.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and Cloud Computing have become fixtures in the enterprise.

Organizations are beginning to realize how profoundly a Cloud-Centric IT architecture differs from their legacy on-premises architectures and, with that, how different their management and monitoring needs will be.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing have become fixtures in the enterprise, and that trend is sure to continue for a long time to come. But the reality is that, to date, those gaining real benefit from the cloud at the enterprise level have been limited largely to isolated pockets.

These include software development and operations teams leveraging infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service (IaaS and PaaS) to slash costs and improve agility; sales teams licensing their own SaaS CRM systems; or lines of business "going rogue" and sidestepping IT by using apps like Dropbox to facilitate easier file sharing inside and outside the company.

There are still some fundamental obstacles to widespread adoption of cloud apps. The two biggest are security concerns and a lack of confidence in app or service performance and availability. Recently, a study was conducted asking IT teams about their current and planned use of cloud apps and services within their organizations. A few particular points stood out:

  • Fewer than 20% of the survey respondents felt that their tools were doing a good job managing their cloud-based apps. The rest were at best ambivalent; more than 20% said their tools just aren't up to the task.

  • More than 40% of the respondents had no tools at all to monitor and manage their cloud apps.


IT teams adopting cloud apps often find themselves in a challenging position. Their users and business management still look to them to "own" application availability and performance, even though they no longer own the application hosting environment.

The tools that they have used to manage their on-premises applications don't give them the same visibility and control in the cloud. Most of these tools have evolved alongside the on-premises applications, operating systems, server, and network infrastructure they have been used to managing.

As they adopt more cloud applications and services, organizations are beginning to realize how profoundly a cloud-centric IT architecture differs from their legacy on-premises architectures and, with that, how different their management and monitoring needs will be.


For businesses to fully embrace the cloud, they will need management tools that are designed from the ground up to support the remote, distributed nature of cloud apps and services.

For more details visit us @ www.urssystems.com

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Lets Hear The Buzz of Telecom - 4G Rollout Is a Tough One for Telecom Operators in India!

Telcos are taking a very cautious approach as fully monetizing network investments involves launching compelling new applications and services while India lacks the ecosystem that include insufficiency of 4G-capable devices.

Network deployment for 4G LTE is a complex and expensive task for telecom operators, especially in emerging economies such as India which have low average-revenue-per user (ARPU).

Deploying LTE networks in India and globally is a hugely complex and expensive task for mobile network operators. Enhanced capabilities and benefits like bandwidth-on-demand require complex go-to-market and customer management strategies.

Emerging competitive threats from Over-the-Top (OTT) applications and services threaten to further reduce already low ARPUs and continue to mount a sustained challenge to the long-term revenue generation potential of 4G services.

Speed advantages are not very useful as a differentiating factor. "Network speeds cannot be guaranteed, and are usually temporary, highly regionalized, and easy for the competition to replicate and outside the operator's control".

The prioritization of 4G-technology rollout would be towards the main metropolitan areas as it would be initially seen as a premium service.

Operators would be mindful of the significant role that pre-existing 2G and 3G technologies, particularly in areas where the limited return on investment opportunities make 4G rollout a less attractive proposition for the network operators.

"The availability of high-speed mobile data communication through 4G-LTE networks and capabilities will continue to be an essential enabler of India's ongoing economic development and growth.

Many of the well-established 4G device providers are targeting lower-cost products specifically towards the Indian market as they seek to consolidate and expand their position within the rapidly developing space.


Visit us @ www.urssystems.com

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Digital Revolution: Provide the Right User Experience!

The consumer has been at the forefront of mobility revolution in India. By the end of 2013, the total Internet user base in India was at 213 million, a 42 percent year-on-year growth. In the same year, mobile Internet user base grew 92 to 130 million. More than 100 million users from India are on Facebook. This growing adoption of mobility by Indian consumers is widely expected to fuel its adoption in the enterprise. In the last couple of years, surveys conducted by PwC among the CXO level staff cutting across industries have indicated a strong demand for mobility by enterprises. However, adoption of enterprise mobility is facing bumps along the road that are impeding adoption rates.

For Indian enterprises, challenges occur at different levels of the organization: senior management level and worker/employee level. A top concern for the senior management is security and compliance: how can data be protected from leaving the corporate walls? We also observe that senior management, under pressure to achieve short-term goals, cannot justify ROI for the additional investment. As far as workers and employees—the end users of mobility systems— are concerned, the key challenge has been providing the right user experience. Quite often, training sessions need to be conducted to overcome the learning barrier involved in understanding the system. Lastly, mobility architecture also comes with an overhead to manage the fragmented OS platforms. To sum it up, the top challenges impeding mobility adoption are:

(i) Security
(ii) ROI justification
(iii) Poor user experience and
(iv) Device fragmentation.

The good news for enterprises is that there are answers to all the challenges they face across the organization. Security concerns are being addressed by innovative solutions in the industry. Security software providers offer encryption at multiple layers: storage, network, cloud and mobile devices. Not only is data encrypted locally, it is also encrypted on storage devices that reside in the cloud. In the event of a data theft, the encrypted data is rendered useless since encryption keys are stored within corporate walls and the keys never leave the corporate firewalls. The Indian start-up ecosystem has started offering.



A majority of Indian CIOs says that enterprise mobility will play a critical role in conducting day-to-day operations in their organization. Many have also stated that mobility will be a key part of their enterprise strategy. However, enterprises, both large and medium, face challenges that are slowing mobility adoption.

www.urssystems.com

Monday, 20 October 2014

Shopping Behaviour has Changed!! More technology enabled with Multiple Channels...

The technology-enabled consumer’s shopping journey weaves in and out of many channels (web stores, mobile apps, social media, e-mail, kiosks, physical stores, contact centers and more).

During this journey consumers leave ever-larger digital footprints with a growing trail of personal data. This raises numerous questions and concerns, including:

• Who owns the data?
• What is the value of the data?
• How is the data being collected?
• How is the data being used?
• How is the data being protected against misuse?

Mutual Value is Key to Improved Digital Engagement

This growing complexity points to the importance of addressing digital engagement as a strategic business issue. Common principles at industry level can serve as a global foundation for creating an interoperable, flexible and accountable framework for coordinated multi stakeholder action. To develop trust and level the digital playing field requires balancing different stakeholder needs, with a goal of ensuring mutual value. Think of it as a “value triangle”: value to the consumer (in the form of rewards, better deals, more relevant offers, etc.), value to the business (improved insights, greater efficiency, more profitable growth), value to the society (improved efficiency, greater corporate social responsibility).


www.urssystems.com

Friday, 17 October 2014

Become an Enabler for the World Tomorrow!!

As devices are spread across numerous locations, it will be difficult to ensure the operation, remote management and updating these devices. Data processing, networking and storage will consume enormous amounts of energy, and disposal of devices which are not very easy to recycle will be a challenge. So there are environmental issues to think about.

If a security issue is found in a device, it is likely that the thousands of already deployed, in-the-field, devices will remain un-patched due to a variety of reasons like connectivity, size, etc. In fact, sustained support of this nature may be cost-prohibitive for the manufacturer.

With cybersecurity on the rise, we need to step back and formulate global governance norms. We need to find answers to basic questions like—Who owns the data? Who has stewardship of the data? Who determines what data standards are to be set, where is the data to be kept? Who has access to the data? Who has the rights to monetise it? 

This is the right time to propose the idea of an International Cyber-Treaty Organisation (ICTO) that would set up ‘rules of the road’ for international cooperation on crime, together with an appropriate fund to finance cooperation as needed; ‘rules of the road’ and a process to assess when a country has gone over the line in acts of cyber-war, together with an appropriate sanctions regime; and a ‘privacy bill of rights’ for citizens worldwide that prevents unwarranted intrusion into their private lives.

Technology, used responsibly, can be both an accelerator and an enabler for the world of tomorrow. It provides new opportunities to foster innovation that boost economic and social prosperity of developed and emerging economies. To enable this for the future we need to begin with our schools and the education system. We should, like several countries are already doing, introduce into the curriculum coding and programming skills in an interesting and engaging manner. We also need to build curriculum that teaches our children ‘cyber ethics’ in our schools so that we raise responsible citizens of the future. Education and skilling will have to keep pace with tomorrow’s needs if the Indian economy is to enjoy sustained growth.



www.urssystems.com

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Technology, used responsibly, can be both an accelerator and an enabler for the world of tomorrow.

Growing pervasiveness of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT):



We stand on the verge of a new wave of change transforming the plethora of devices in our physical world into a seamless extension of ourselves. IoT is making the concept of ‘One Entity’ a reality. We are in the age of any-time, any-place for any-one, to any-time, any-place for any-thing. At the core of IoT is to bring together people, data, process, and objects or things, and connect them to communicate smartly taking the user experience to a different level altogether. It also raises fundamental questions around geographical boundaries that determine our legal systems, and issues of personal privacy.

There are already more connected devices than people on the planet. According to a Gartner report, by 2020, there will be as many as 26 billion connected devices on this planet. A consequence of networked things is smarter processes and services, which can support our economies, environment and health.

Having established IoT’s business advantages, perhaps we must look at the developmental challenges, especially from the perspective of emerging economies. For countries like India which are largely agrarian, IoT can impact productivity through soil data through sensors, and meteorological data on rainfall. In the utilities sector usage analysis and prediction results in smart networks can result in substantial resource savings. However, these technologies will need to be low-cost and affordable for a scalable solution.

Another critical area is healthcare. IoT would enable a connected, cost-effective, easy-to-use, healthcare system that would focus on preventive measures rather than curative, facilitating monitoring of patients remotely, cutting down the number of visits to hospitals.

Many countries are pushing the envelope on leveraging IoT. As per the Global Information Technology report 2014 published jointly by INSEAD, Cornell University and World Economic Forum, the countries leading the Networked Readiness Index are the Netherlands, Switzerland, the US and the UK. London’s Heathrow is all set to become the first airport in the world to use IoT technology to re-wire the experience of catching a flight.

While the US and Europe are moving ahead, China is establishing its leadership as well. A dedicated unit called China Mobile Internet of Things Ltd has been established to develop IoT and three verticals in particular are being focused upon—energy, transport and smart cities. The future of IoT raises two important questions—security and governance. But even before that, it is important to be sensitised with some other related issues.

Due to multiple entities involved in IoT, it is important to understand as to who owns your private data and who has the right to monetise it.

Interoperability is the first basic challenge as IoT involves different technologies and systems, so it is important to have one standard approach. As devices are spread across numerous locations, it will be difficult to ensure the operation, remote management and updating these devices. Data processing, networking and storage will consume enormous amounts of energy, and disposal of devices which are not very easy to recycle will be a challenge. So there are environmental issues to think about.

www.urssystems.com

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

ORGANIZATIONS ARE FACING AN EXPLOSION OF ENTERPRISE INFORMATION. LETS TALK ABOUT NUMBERS!

Faced with a constantly growing volume of information, organizations today are realizing they need the right strategy to manage and protect their assets. The size of the digital universe is expected to roughly double every two years, increasing 50-fold by 2020.

WHY IS THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION BEING STORED INCREASING?

• More data is generated by existing systems due to business growth
• More data is being captured per business activity
• More metadata, or data about data, is being generated

98% of business leaders said the amount of data they're storing is increasing

17% of business leaders say they don’t want to throw anything away.

14% say they don’t have a defined retention strategy, so they just go ahead and save everything.

At least 50% of the organization’s information is duplicate, outdated, or unnecessary.

Only 17% of companies say they use 75% or more of the data they collect.




All told, 80% of the information we store is unstructured. That unstructured information holds value as well as risk.

Without Information Governance, organizations have a difficult time managing and protecting their information. A comprehensive Information Governance strategy makes it easy for enterprises to maximize value and minimize risks and costs by capturing and governing all information.


www.urssystems.com


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

NEED FOR SPEED: With higher internet speeds, the connection between humans and technology will tighten..

With higher internet speeds, the connection between humans and technology will tighten as machines gather, assess, and display real time personalized information in an "always-on" environment. This integration will affect many activities-including thinking, the documentation of life events ('life-logging'), and coordination of daily schedules. There will be changes across all aspects of life as internet connectivity advances by 2025.

As the internet closes in on speeds of 1 Gigabit, or 1,000 Mb, per second, it is expected to unleash a new set of applications, significantly altering the online as well as the offline existence of individuals and companies, impacting education, health care and business. However, it could widen the digital divide.

In the past every major advance in bandwidth has brought new innovation that has led to new services and applications to digital life. "In the internet's early days, slow modems facilitated email; faster dial-up modems helped websites become usable; early broadband roll out allowed for quicker sharing of relatively big files such as the MP3 music files that were shared on the first peer-to-peer services like Napster; later broadband advances allowed for streaming activities that have given rise to services like YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix," the report said.

With higher internet speeds, the connection between humans and technology will tighten as machines gather, assess, and display real-time personalized information in an "always-on" environment. This integration will affect many activities-including thinking, the documentation of life events ('life-logging'), and coordination of daily schedules.

NEED FOR SPEED:

Things possible when Gigabit connectivity (1,000 Mbps) becomes more popular
  • Your interactions with doctors, educators, merchants, and others will consist not of emailed forms or pre-recorded messages but of instantaneous, life-like video interaction that require no set-up or configuration.
  • The past generation had to manually document their lives but we are looking at full video lifestreaming in the near future. Lifestreaming from ultrasound to final illness will be the killer app.
  • It will be much cheaper and more convenient to have that monitoring take place outside the hospital. We will be able to purchase health-monitoring systems just like we purchase home-security systems. Indeed, the home-security system will include health monitoring as a matter of course. Robotic and remote surgery will become commonplace.
  • Wearing clothes that are tailor-made, 3D-printed at home, will also become normal, with the previous day's clothes recycled efficiently; the school day will dis aggregate into a number of learning sessions, some at home, some in the neighborhood, some in pairs, some in larger groups, with different kinds of facilitators.



If there is a digital divide now, it will still exist in 2025. The divide's existence will be magnified by the new killer apps - who has access and who does not, beneficiaries and those left out.

    www.urssystems.com



Monday, 13 October 2014

In the midst of extraordinary change, a simple frame of reference will enable TELCOS to win...Lets hear some News and Facts happening in Telecom Industry.

According to a white paper named ‘India 2020: Bringing the networked society to life’ released by Ericsson, the overall revenue of Indian telecom operators is expected to grow from $28 billion in 2013 to $46-49 billion by 2020. The mobile broadband subscriber base in India would grow from 100 million in 2013 to 600 million by 2020. Further, around 20 per cent of them would use 4G services by 2020.

CAG has said that despite DoT's technical committee specifying that spectrum up to 6.2 MHz was sufficient to support a subscriber base of 9 lakh in Delhi and Mumbai, the telecom department decided to allot additional 1.8 MHz airwaves to Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India after they clocked 4 lakh subscribers. However, neither the Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body in DoT, nor the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) were consulted before the department took a final decision.

DoT didn't consider efficiency, effectiveness and scarcity of bandwidth of 900 MHz spectrum in fixing revenue share. These operators, however, charged more from their rivals while allowing roaming on the lower frequency band compared to the 1800 MHz band, the auditor said. Consequently, the government lost close to Rs. 6,000 crore by not charging more for the more efficient frequency band.

The share of data revenues in total revenues of the telecom operators will rise from 10-12 per cent in 2013 to 35-40 per cent in 2020. However, the revenues from SMS and other traditional services would remain stable at $2 billion during 2013-2020. Also, the prices of smartphones will fall by 40-50 per cent over the next three years. As a result, the number of subscribers who are able to afford smartphones and services would increase from 110 million in 2013 to reach over 700 million by 2020.

Ericsson is of the view that to fulfill the Digital India initiative, telecom operators should be able to access more spectrum from the government, and work to build new network capabilities and revenue models.


www.urssystems.com

Friday, 10 October 2014

6 Key Areas essential to any Retailer’s Transformation Strategy as Retailing continues to change rapidly because of digital technology

In the midst of the extraordinary change being driven by online retailing, major retailers worldwide are continually adjusting strategy to create value. But competing priorities and distractions can lead retailers to forget perhaps the most important underpinning of all strategic imperatives: customer empathy. The irony of this, and the appeal, is that based on this simple frame of reference putting yourself in your customers’ shoes most retailers already know how to win.

In the name of innovation, many retailers often implement new systems that are intended to reduce cost, improve sales and be good for customers, but, in fact, if they had listened to their customers the retailers would have learned they wanted something different.

Although all industries are still in the midst of digital transformation, other industries, such as travel and banking, aren’t as fixated on channels and haven’t fallen into this trap. They have learned to deliver seamless, convenient, non-intrusive, enabling experiences. Retailers that do the same have the best chance of balancing returns on investment and increasing share of wallet with delighted, brand-loyal customers.

Bottom-line takeaways in six key areas essential to any retailer’s transformation strategy: mobile, social media, personalized marketing, cross-channel integration, loyalty, and digital shopping.

  1. MOBILE - Mobility is perhaps the most important channel of all. Retailers need to adopt a “mobile-first” model for deployment to shoppers and associates given the inherent rapid change and ubiquity of mobile interaction. The vast majority of shoppers are now connected almost every waking hour of their day. But retailers haven’t caught up.
  2. SOCIAL MEDIA – Although shoppers are very active on social media, it’s their platform and they really don’t want the noise that many retailers generate: more than 60% of surveyed shoppers said their purchases are not influenced by social media.
  3. PERSONALIZED MARKETING – Personalisation runs hot and cold. Retailers understand the power. Shoppers are hungry for more relevant, customized experiences.
  4. CROSS-CHANNEL INTEGRATION – Customers want it all – the convenience of online shopping with the comfort and immediacy of the in-store experience. And they want to use their devices to research and price check while in stores. The tip of the Omni channel spear is “buy online pickup in-store.” It’s the most tangible, proven way to engage and identify customers across channels. 
  5. LOYALTY – Loyalty programs, when done well, are good for retailers and their customers. But retailers are not leveraging loyalty anywhere near as well as airlines and hospitality companies. Shopper satisfaction with retail loyalty programs is generally low. Although retail loyalty programs do create loyalty, and shoppers are enrolling (92%), impact could be substantially increased by improving perceived value and ease of use.
  6.  DIGITAL SHOPPING – Digital shopping (Web and mobile) continues to be an important – and threatening – channel both for transacting and influencing in-store purchases. More and more shoppers are looking to brand Web sites, e- tailers and other online competitors. With increased price transparency and expectations for faster, lower-cost delivery also comes increased threat to the bottom line. What do shoppers want? A collective experience online! No single feature is more important than the rest.



Shoppers want robust information, easy access to service, a variety of payment options, stored profile information, and real-time offers. Retailers must rely on their online experience, price and product selection to differentiate themselves from the competition.

For more details visit us @www.urssystems.com

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Is Your Smartphone Smart Enough To Save your Time!! Lets get updated on the Telecom and Networking Buzz...

The study revealed that Smartphone usage in the country is not only leading to proliferation of entertainment and social networking but also creating a buzz around things such as productivity and achieving more. "Smartphones are becoming a tool for driving productivity".


  • IT SAVES TIME: Indian users perceived smartphones as enablers of productivity by saving time, enhancing communication and collaboration with colleagues, providing more flexibility and simplifying their lives and thus saves time. According to the study, 77 per cent of smartphone users in India find that their device saves time. Globally, one-third of business smartphone users said their devices save them more than 5 hours during an average working week. “Smartphones have made a major impact on the way we conduct business and communicate with friends and family, driving our ambitions to be productive in order to change the way we contribute to work, our communities and society”.

  • MOTIVATED USERS: Rather than simply ploughing through a to-do list, modern productivity means consciously creating more time to focus on the things that matter most. The study found that 67 per cent of business smartphone users globally indicated they are “always looking to improve their productivity” and 69 per cent are “constantly looking for new ways to get things done as efficiently as possible.”



Smartphone reflects their status, helps them manage communications, is secure, helps them achieve more, is durable, gives them flexibility and simplifies their lives as against other smartphone users. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Business Intelligence (BI) strategy has to be based on current "REALITY": Explore the Value of BI in INSURANCE

Building a BI strategy has to be focused on something other than developing the perfect data warehouse. In the most basic terms, if you already have the data, then how will combining that data help you do something new? It might cost less money when it is consolidated, but the cost of consolidation is significant and the cost of maintaining this degree of consolidation is also high. 

Any BI strategy has to be based on current reality. Many companies strive at considerable cost to develop an all-encompassing data warehouse, only to find that as fast as they integrate applications, the landscape changes and they have to change the model. Insurance companies are particularly vulnerable to this problem since sales, service, underwriting, and claims often develop and deliver new applications in isolation from each other.  


Developing and delivering an approach to BI can drive business improvement and benefits realization, and highlight the significance of IT.

The obvious key to all business intelligence (BI) strategies is data. Having said this, perfect data is not required to derive significant value from what exists at any given point in time. It is a simple fact that all insurers generate copious volumes of reporting. It may be poorly structured and little used, but it reflects the fact that a high volume of existing information is held in structured fields and that someone, at some point, has developed an extract to develop a report.

Before delving into approaches, it is worth remembering that insurance-related BI is not as complex as some would have you believe, and it can be broken into five areas that can quickly create business benefit if sufficient transparency can be generated. They are:

  1. Reducing expense costs
  2. Reducing the average cost of claim
  3. Reducing claims frequency
  4. Increasing profitable sales
  5. Improving customer retention (for those customers you want to retain)
  6. Collectively, they drive profitable growth.


Clearly, the list does not cover every aspect of insurance. Everyone has a favorite corner of the insurance universe to explore. The items do represent those areas where the money is spent and where improvements can reduce combined ratios and drive profitable growth. If your BI cannot be tied back to one of the above areas in a clear line of progression, then it is information for information’s sake and adds no value to the business. This is not to say that the information is the wrong thing to gather -- rather, it is the fact that it is not being used effectively. This becomes something to be fixed.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

CIOs need to decide how they will position the IT organization in relation to emerging digital business technologies, such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing, wearable technology, robotics and cognitive systems.

Regardless of your industry, every CIO will need to prepare for the upcoming digital business technologies and the impacts it will have on the enterprise.
CIOs should use this research to start forming their positions on digital business technologies, and to prepare their IT organizations with the right resources and skill sets.
Two key attributes will cause some CIOs to hesitate in making digital business technologies part of the IT organization's responsibilities:
  1. Digital business technologies are operational in nature. The IT organization is used to owning and supporting "back office" and infrastructure technologies. Digital business technologies are aimed at supporting "front office" and operations.
  2. Digital business technologies are emerging technologies. Drones, the IoT and cognitive systems are not commonly part of the IT agenda.
However, we encourage CIOs to understand how relevant these technologies are, and will be, in their industries, and to give them a fair assessment. There is much at stake — in both business value and technology investment.


www.urssystems.com

Monday, 6 October 2014

Data centre market will be driven by the revival of growth-related projects across verticals such as banking, insurance, telecom and the government segment.

India to become the second largest market for data center infrastructure within the Asia-Pacific region (source: Gartner)

Gartner has estimated that the market value of Indian data centre infrastructure will increase by 5.4 per cent from $1.92 billion in 2014 to $2.03 billion in 2015. Accordingly, India will become the second largest market for data center infrastructure within the Asia-Pacific region.

Gartner believes that the data centre market will be driven by the revival of growth-related projects across verticals such as banking, insurance, telecom and the government segment. Large enterprises are likely to invest in infrastructure replacement and growth related projects covering enterprise mobility, cloud and big data solutions. Moreover, Indian enterprises will be focusing on building intelligent data centres that focus on optimising existing hardware assets by using additional software capabilities. This will drive increased attention on newer trends such as public cloud, and integrated systems.

Within the Indian IT infrastructure market, server segment revenue is forecasted to reach $677 million in 2015, a three per cent increase over 2014. Gartner further forecasts that enterprise networking will be the biggest segment with revenue expected to reach $948 million in 2015. Data centre consolidation and virtualisation, along with cloud and mobility solutions, are the key trends influencing network purchases. The firm is of the view that there is great potential for both users and vendors to leverage some of the emerging technologies to drive growth.



Visit us at www.urssystems.com

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Role of IT is Indeed Changing: IT needs to be the key advisor as technology becomes the business

Indian IT leaders expect to invest 65% of their IT budget in delivering new services, the highest in the world. As software-driven business transformation becomes the norm, and businesses use new applications to engage their employees and customers, this trend is expected to continue, and accelerate, in the years to come. With the focus on innovation, 71% of India Inc’s top management considers IT to be fundamental to the organization’s success or very strategically important, compared to 51% in the United States.

What IT should be doing Now?


Managing the changing role of IT isn’t about control; it’s more about embracing what could become of today’s technology experts and how they can evolve into strategic business partners.


Drive better engagement with business stakeholders: IT needs to define strategic initiatives in the  context of business goals and communicate performance against strategic metrics so the business can understand IT’s value. IT should move beyond internally-focused metrics to external business metrics such as revenue and customer satisfaction, and routinely measure and report on key performance metrics in the language the business will understand.


Gain business support for the IT organization: Now that more CIOs are reporting directly to their CEOs they have the opportunity to become an equal, strategic partner who delivers clear value to the business and in return garners the budget and support needed to implement the strategy.


Build trust with the business by increasing transparency into investments and priorities: Help the business understand how you can optimize resource utilization and spend across internal and cloud service providers, make sourcing decisions based on a true understanding of cost and value and minimize budget variance and schedule uncertainty.


Identify the key roles that drive innovation and invest accordingly: IT organizations will always have to maintain existing technology investments and support end-user needs, but that shouldn’t be the primary role going forward. Search for the IT rock stars in the organization, give them time and resources to deliver new products and services, and truly innovate. As you shift more of your energy and focus to new services, over time your budget balance will shift from maintenance to innovation.


Educate the business on disruptive trends: IT organizations should understand how new technologies can drive business success. Stay on top of the latest technologies and invest in the required skills, talent and training. Don’t wait to be asked by the business about cloud computing, Big Data or mobility, for instance; look for ways to collaborate with the business in developing a proactive plan to leverage them.


Evolve IT from support to strategist: Today IT is the “problem fixer”; IT is the go-to for customer complaints; and IT maintains systems. But tomorrow IT needs to be the strategy expert. IT needs to be the key advisor as technology becomes the business.




For more details visit us @www.urssystems.com